I went to the Dollar Tree last week and snapped a picture of this sign.

But no need to pick on Dollar Tree, there’s a similar sign at Wal-Mart, Walgreens and your local grocery store. I’ll be honest that it makes me sad.

One reason is that my husband has a retail job. So tonight, the night before Thanksgiving, he’s working until midnight to prepare for Black Friday. His store is closed on Thanksgiving Day, but he has to report back to work at 9 p.m. on Thanksgiving night in order to get ready to open the store at midnight. Happy holidays. I overheard someone on Facebook calling renaming Thanksgiving, Black Friday Eve.

And that’s what it’s become, hasn’t it?

Because seriously. What in the world could you possibly NEED at Dollar Tree on Thanksgiving Day? And is it that pressing that it’s more important than real people being able to enjoy a full-day off with their families? A holiday?

Kinda makes you wonder what the person who is already camping out in front of Best Buy is thankful for. Thankful for the bargain he’s about to get? Thankful that he doesn’t have a job that requires him to work on Thanksgiving so that he can waste the day and night away, half-freezing to death so that he can be the first to hand over cash for the latest gadget…that,even on sale, is marked up 700%? Okay, that was an extra long run-on sentence, but you get my drift! This is insane, people. It’s really an ugly reflection of what we have become as a culture. Stuff matters. People? Not so much…

As I read Thanksgiving books to my kids, I keep thinking about how far removed the values of Thanksgiving are from the reality of how Thanksgiving is practiced in our culture. I’m in declutter mode right now, so I’m extra-sensitive to the push for more stuff. But there’s always been a push for more. Our capitalist economy relies on the fact that we are not ever satisfied with what we have. We want newer, faster, shinier… every. year. And we KNOW this and we say it’s WRONG and we don’t LIKE it, but we still eagerly participate.

If we were really thankful for what we’ve ALREADY BEEN GIVEN, would we be so anxious to stay up all night in order to get more? Or is the OPPORTUNITY TO GET MORE what we’re really thankful for?